Amazon Best Books of the Month, October 2010
: In the city of Jewel, safety and temperance are prized above all other virtues. Goldie, an impetuous girl with a talent for petty thievery, is eagerly awaiting her Separation, in which her silver guardchain connecting her to her parents for safety is finally cut. When tragedy strikes and the city’s sly and deceptive ruler, the Fugleman, cancels all Separations indefinitely, Goldie decides she’s had enough of safety and runs away to the fascinating, mysterious Museum of Dunt. Yet this museum is no dusty educational edifice, as Goldie soon learns: it has moods and feelings like a living being. Its shape-shifting rooms house not historical artifacts, but great and terrible powers that, if unleashed, could destroy the city. In the museum, Goldie meets a quirky cast of misfits, including Toadspit, an Oliver-Twist-like ragamuffin living in the museum; Sinew, a harp-toting spy; and Broo, a talking dog with secret powers of his own. Before long, however, the Fugleman discovers the secret of the museum and tries to use its powers to tighten his control of the city, and it’s up to Goldie, Toadspit, and Broo to stop him. Lian Tanner’s Museum of Thieves
is filled with characters who are oddball but meaningful, a dystopia-for-beginners plot that is at once serious and silly, and a pace fast enough to draw in even reluctant readers. The thrilling conclusion teaches that courage and freedom are virtues, too, even if they mean a few scrapes along the way. --Juliet Disparte
From School Library Journal
Gr 4-8–In the city of Jewel, children are chained to their parents or to the Blessed Guardians from birth until Separation at age 16. Now the Grand Protector has lowered the ceremony to age 12, and the Blessed Guardians are furious. When a bomb interrupts 12-year-old Goldie Roth's Separation Day, she takes advantage of the chaos to run away, ultimately finding her way to the Museum of Dunt. Its four Guardians teach her how to survive on her own, how to steal, and how to live within the mysterious institution, which is much bigger than it seems, since it is constantly changing and home to all of the long-ago perils that filled Jewel back when it was the dangerous city of Dunt. When local politics endanger the existence of the Museum and its Guardians, and release war, plague, and other horrors on the city, Goldie and Toadspit have to come up with a plan for defeating the forces within in order to preserve the existence of Jewel. Tanner creates an enticing world, and the action picks up rapidly when Goldie enters the Museum. Readers are drawn into Jewel's past and present, learning along Goldie and wishing that they could acquire some of her nearly magical talents. A fun read and an intriguing start to a new series.Beth L. Meister, Milwaukee Jewish Day School, WI
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